Monday, May 21, 2012

Those Who Helped You First

I stand on the brink of our departure with a glad heart, thankful for the many who reached out to us over our years here in Japan. A neighbor who is busy with a child now, was one of the very first to talk with me. These days we live in separate orbits as mothers of children at different ages with different roles, for now. However, there has always been a good and easy feeling between us though we've put each other and ourselves on hold the past few years. Now the time is up. I didn't want to tell her we were moving. There is a part of me that would like to slink out of here, but there is giant moving truck coming later in the week which would be hard to miss on the tiny streets of Omachi.

I told her of our move and the upcoming departure. Then I cried. Those old feelings of happiness and gratefulness that someone reached out when I feared that no one would or even could (because of language) bubbled up and stabbed me right in the heart. Looking into her eyes, I knew she knew too. We always think we have more time, but we don't have forever. Still, I am happy to have a foundation in Japan of good memories, many acts of kindness, one upon another.

Some good friends had me over for lunch and gave me a goodbye present today. They wanted to be sure that it would go into our shipment. We have other plans together next week, next month. It didn't make me feel sad, just happy that my friends are so kind, so thoughtful. I've had so much fun here because of them. Oh, but my neighbor from those beginning days! Maybe too it is because we didn't get to do as much as we hoped together. That happens too, but it doesn't take away the importance or the meaning they hold in your heart. You remember well those who helped you first.

It will be a long time before we can walk the streets of Omachi again. I hope I can get through these goodbyes intact. I hope to visit again someday to show my children these spaces and places of their childhood, at least the early part of it. Who knew when we came here it would be so long, so wonderful, so meaningful. I have to get those munsters back for another photo at the Daibutsu!

The Munsters in Kamakura 2007